Condom Makers Suit Up for War on Social Media
America’s prophylactic warrior is waging battle on a new marketing turf—social media. And as they say, to the victor goes the spoils—so what’s at stake for the mighty Trojan brand’s continued dominance in the U.S.
In a valiant effort to pillage a greater share of America’s $430 million condom market —69% of which is enjoyed by Trojan—the UK’s Durex brand has invaded our shores by riding the waves of social media bandwidth with innovative and aggressive marketing in an attempt to plunder more than its existing 15% share in the U.S. condom market.
Throughout most all of Europe, Durex is what Trojans are in the U.S.—the generic term for condom. In fact, Durex rules most of the world outside of our own American borders. And while Trojan’s U.S. ad spend in 2012 was a whopping $33.6 million, the ad budget here for Durex was so miniscule that owner Reckitt Benckiser Group (RBG) recently tripled the spend to $15 million
Based on our NetBase Insight Composer summary for the two condom brands across nine social media channels in all global English markets, Durex shows both higher Net Sentiment and Passion Intensity than Trojan. However, our analysis also shows interesting opposing brand passion intensity trends (discussed later in this blog).
Our social analysis discerned distinct brand personalities for the dueling marketers.
In contrast to Trojan’s “reliability” tagline, which twice mentions “trust”—The pleasure you want, the protection you trust. From the makers of Trojan® condoms, America’s #1 most trusted condom brand,— the Durex tagline “Say bye-bye, boring sex…hello, to exploring and jaw-dropping great sex!” supersedes safe-sex marketing with performance sex. Known for its cheeky British marketing style, Durex appears to have set its sites on raising the stakes with its “pleasure trumps safety” slogan: “Better sex is our mantra.” Not to imply that one or the other brand has the license to safe-sex advocacy, but Trojan’s “reliability” and “trust” refrain appears to date the brand in spite of its inventive product names and varieties.
In conjunction with Durex’s introduction of its new Performax Intense product (tagline: Speed her up, slow him down), the brand is staging events hosted by such U.S. celebrity couples as sexy rapper-turned-actor Ice-T and his buxom wife Coco. Trojan’s counter-offensive is evident on its own Facebook page, where it features a drawing to win Vans Warped 2012 concert tickets. Durex’s Facebook competitions include its FB “In Sync” music contest featured on its In-Sync Hub, as well as a Tweetsweeps. The In-Sync Song Generator App facilitates matching up your mate’s favorite “mood” music.
Both brands, which sport diversified competing product lines, are going head to head in social media with new “vibrating” lines, also touted on Facebook. Trojan’s Facebook Pleasure Quest offers advice on matching their “devices” for optimal satisfaction. Durex’s aggressive In-Sync social media campaign features “Sexpert” Dr. Michelle Callahan, along with the results of a sex survey conducted by Wakefield Research.
We were intrigued by an interesting NetBase 12-month Passion Intensity trend—while Trojan’s index consistently runs positive vis a vis total positive and negative mentions, Durex’s ran on the negative side over the same period.
A deeper social analysis of the emotional language of the data would be required to determine the root cause of this stark, albeit consistent difference in Passion Intensity trend, since the index is an expression of the ratio of strong emotions (love vs. hate) to all emotions expressed about a brand. Such an analysis also would correlate the Net Sentiment ratios, which show higher net sentiment for Durex with few exceptions over 12 months.
Other finding highlights:
- Women like the Durex ad 'Livens her up, slows him down' better than men: 56.6% female/43.4% male
- Women love Durex’s worldwide survey result: #1 Fantasy – sex with a celebrity
- Overall gender advertising preference: Trojan 63% male/37% female; Durex 64% male/36% female
- Product preference: Trojan 65.5% male/34.5 female; Durex 61% male/39% female
- Trojan themes: some concern over increasing cancer risk; vegans concern product isn’t cruelty-free; diverse discussion on brand and product naming conventions; safe, reliable, reduces transmission risk
- Durex themes: uncomfortable; improper fit; lubrication problem; easy to wear; makes marriage exciting; great/safe sex; durable/reassuring; prevents HIV
- Behavior: consumers of both brands expressed similar desire to use the product – 89% positive/11% negative
An interesting social media marathon is underway. Although both the Durex and Trojan brands are octogenarians, neither shows sign of relinquishing the baton.
Global social media analyst, research strategist and localization expert. Delivers global social media brand audits, analytics, brand innovation, media tracking. NetBase partner, leverages award-winning NLP platform Insight Composer to deliver global brand insights and analytics in 40 languages. Yogini, linguaphile, passionate about global cultural research, social brand innovation, ...
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